Who are Guardians of the Sounds?
Guardians of the Sounds began with a large group of Queen Charlotte Sound residents concerned about the devastating effects fast ferry wash was having on the foreshore and people’s safety. Many other issues that needed community input were identified throughout the Marlborough Sounds and, to give the community a voice, Guardians of the Sounds
became an incorporated society in August, 2000.
Guardians have become an officially recognized community and environmental group through which residents can unite and be heard by local and national government.
The Guardians Charter covers all the Sounds within the jurisdiction of the Marlborough District Council.
The first object of the Society is “to ensure that the natural environment, water quality, ecological biodiversity, safety of people and wildlife of the Marlborough Sounds and surrounds are managed wisely both now and in the future.”
The primary role of Guardians is that of environmental ‘watch-dog’ to ensure the Sounds are managed in a sustainable way for the benefit of the present and future generations of New Zealanders.
“To Save the Sounds For Future Generations”
Who belongs to Guardians?
Members include people from all walks of life and varied backgrounds. Permanent and part-time residents. Boat owners, bach owners and fishermen. People who are passionate about our unique Marlborough Sounds environment and want to play a part in its preservation.
In which Sounds issues have Guardians played an active role?
- Shipping and Navigation
As a result of intense lobbying, MDC Bylaws were passed to limit the speed of fast ferries. The Sounds
foreshore is already showing signs of recovery
- Moratorium on Aquaculture
As a result of our involvement in this law reform and our input into the Oceans Policy, Guardians have been nominated as “key stake holders” in the Ministry of Fisheries Aquaculture Working Group
- Logging and Forestry
We have lobbied Marlborough District Council and Marlborough Roads to ban the large number of trucks hauling logs overland from Port Underwood and instead grant a subsidy to bring logs from Onapua Bay to Shakespeare Bay by barge.
Guardians members have been taking part in the Blue Cod Working Group. We continue to support and encourage new measures needed to remedy the deterioration of some of our fisheries. Guardians are collaborating with other organizations to initiate multi-party research projects where they can.
Underwater video work was undertaken by the Guardians to film the seabed below mussel farms. Plague-like populations of eleven – armed starfish were discovered. As a result, the Ministry of Fisheries has made this issue a research priority.
- Port Company Management
Guardians have helped procure an agreement for free overnight berthage for those residents with ‘boat access only’.
- Resource Management Act
Guardians actively participate in RMA matters affecting the Sounds. We make submissions on resource consent applications and Council plans; attend hearings and public meetings and provide feedback to the Sounds Community on these matters.
We have laid the groundwork for networking between Sounds residents by facilitating meetings of Residents’Associations in order to foster greater communication and provide a forum for discussing issues and airing concerns.